Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad was on Saturday sentenced to 14 years in jail and fined Rs 60 lakh by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court in connection with the fourth fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka treasury in the early 1990s, a CBI counsel said.
CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh awarded two separate sentences of seven years each to Prasad under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Acts, counsel Rakesh Prasad said.
Both the sentences will have to be served consecutively, he added.
Advocate Vishnu Sharma, while explaining the court’s decision, said, “Lalu Prasad has been sentenced to seven years in prison under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged), 477 (fraudulent cancellation, destruction of will or valuable security) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), and penalised Rs 30 lakh.
“He was awarded another seven-year jail term and slapped with a fine of Rs 30 lakh under the Prevention of Corruption Act... Both the sentences will run consecutively.”
For default or non-payment of fine, the convict would have to spend one more year in prison for each of the two sets of sections, Sharma said.
The court also pronounced the quantum of sentence for 18 other convicts in the case.
Former regional director of Animal Husbandry department O P Diwarkar received the same punishment as Prasad.
Nine other animal husbandry department officials and former IAS officer Phoolchand Singh were sentenced to seven years in prison and fined Rs 30 lakh each for their involvement in the case.
Sharma said failure to pay the fine would entail an additional 18-month prison term for each of them.
Seven fodder suppliers were given three-and-a-half years of prison terms and Rs 15 lakh penalty each.
Prabhat Kumar, Lalu Prasad’s counsel, told reporters he would appeal in a higher court against the judgment.
The court had on March 19 held the 69-year-old RJD chief guilty along with 18 others in connection with the Dumka treasury case.
Former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, however, was acquitted in the case, along with 12 other accused.
Prasad has been serving prison term in Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi since December 23 last year after being convicted in the second fodder scam case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of money from Deogarh treasury.
In the first case, dating back to 2013, the RJD supremo was convicted for illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury. He got five years’ prison term in the case following which he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
The RJD chief was granted bail by the Supreme Court three months later.
In another Chaibasa case pertaining to withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore, Prasad got five years’ prison term on January 24 this year.
The fifth case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 139 crore from Doranda treasury in Ranchi is still pending with the court.
Prasad is currently undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, where he was admitted last week after he complained of chest pain and discomfort in jail.